5 Best Fishing Bobbers + Buying Guide [2022 Update]

Updated on September 21, 2022 by

A fishing bobber might seem like an elementary tool for anglers who have advanced on to using complex lures with intricate rod and reel systems. You might be surprised to learn that many of the most successful anglers in the world still use fishing bobbers to their advantage to catch various species. If you’re looking to get some new fishing bobbers for your next outing, there’s much more to purchasing this seemingly insignificant angling tool than many fishermen and women might think. 

As with anything else in the fishing industry, fishing bobbers have gone through quite a bit of technological advancement and design innovations over the last few decades. Indeed, many of the most popular fishing bobbers currently on the market are very similar to those that were used decades ago, but some others are much more developed and can greatly elevate your overall experience on the water. 

This article will cover some of the key indicators of quality and things you should pay attention to when looking for bobbers, as well as my top picks for the best 5 fishing bobbers currently on the market today. 

Quick Summary – Best Fishing Bobber

Bestseller No. 1

What is a Fishing Bobber? 
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Fishing bobbers have been in use for hundreds of years. They were first introduced in Europe for anglers who were trying to catch anything from trout to carp and many other species. Instead of allowing their baited hooks to fall down into the depths of lakes and rivers, these anglers used fishing bobbers to keep them at a certain depth and prevent the hooks from getting snagged in the thick brush and trees that are often found in the bottom of waterways. 

Since then, using a fishing bobber has become very popular in some areas, especially for certain species of fish that feed on prey mostly at or near the surface. You can also have decent success catching bottom-feeders through using a fishing bobber with the right kind of bait. 

Bobbers are very useful when fishing around heavy cover or in shallow waters where you want to keep the bait you’re using off the bottom. Suppose you are very familiar with the feeding pattern of a specific type of fish. In that case, you can target that fish with greater efficiency than you would by using topwater or a simple baited hook that sits on the bottom of the lake or river. 

Fishing bobbers are also used extensively in trotline fishing.

Different Types of Fishing Bobbers 

There are countless different types of fishing bobbers on the market today and it can seem tough to know if you’re choosing the right one or not. With so many different advances in the fishing industry, there are now a huge number of different kinds of fishing bobbers that are specially designed for different purposes. Some are made to simply hold your lure in place and give you a reference point that indicates when you’re getting a bite while others might even light up at night so you won’t have any problem seeing them in the dark. 

When it comes to fishing for smaller species of game fish, it’s usually recommended that you go with a more narrow style of float that will more easily indicate when a fish is nibbling at the bait you’ve set out. As you might expect, it’s best to use a larger bobber if you are trying to catch bigger species of fish. 

For beginners and novice anglers, it’s recommended that you go with a simple round bobber that can either be a solid color or white with a colored stripe along the center. These colored stripes are made to help alert you when a fish might be slightly pulling on the hook and causing the fishing bobber to wag back and forth. It’s much easier to spot movement in this colored stripe than it is with a solid orange or red-colored float. 

Fishing bobbers in today’s market can be made out of anything from plastic to balsa wood and might come with a variety of different features that give you distinct advantages on the water. 

When to Use a Fishing Bobber

The question of whether or not you should use a fishing bobber really comes down to what kind of fish you’re planning to catch and whether or not a bobber will help increase your chances of landing the fish you’re targeting. You can use fishing bobbers in both saltwater and freshwater fishing environments and many are specially-made for certain purposes or for specific fish species. 

Depending on the type of fish you’re trying to catch and the specific depth you expect these fish to be at, there are a wide range of different depths you can fish using a bobber. If you have a thorough understanding of the different ways that fishing bobbers are used in certain rigs or for specific types of fish, you will be able to tie them on and use them in the right way to increase your chances for success on the water. 

Having a rod that’s already pre-rigged with a fishing bobber and hook is a great backup plan for when fish might not be biting certain presentations, or if the fish you’re after might prefer a more stationary bait before they’ll bite. This is especially true for things like crappie fishing when you should always have a backup plan that involves being able to throw a minnow that’s hooked just a couple feet below a fishing bobber of your choice. 

Using a bobber is an excellent strategy for introducing kids into the sport of fishing. Having a fishing bobber gives the young angler a reference point to stay focused on, alerting them when a fish is playing with or biting their lure. However, fishing bobbers can be absolutely essential as in the case of competitive catfish anglers who rely on large bobbers to indicate when they are getting the first bite from what might turn out to be a trophy-sized catfish. 

Regardless of the level at which you consider yourself to be at when it comes to fishing, having a good quality bobber and knowing how to use it with different rigs and lure presentations can go a long way in your overall success. You can use fishing bobbers for various species from steelhead salmon, walleye, crappie and even small panfish like bluegill and even trout. 

The key to properly using your fishing bobber to catch the kind of fish you’re after is placing it at the right location on the line so that your bait is at the right level underwater. This can be tricky as some species might bite certain bait presentations right below the surface while others might want one that’s multiple feet below the water surface. 

5 Best Fishing Bobbers 

1. Eagle Claw Balsa Style Fishing Bobber 

Bestseller No. 1

When it comes to selecting the overall best fishing bobber that’s on the market today, my choice is the Eagle Claw Balsa Style Fishing Bobber. This fishing bobber has a very unique, but effective color pattern, as well as an overall design that helps give it special buoyancy and let anglers know when fish are biting their bait below the surface. 

What I Like About It

One of the most important things about this lure is that it’s made of balsa wood, which is very lightweight and able to show the slightest change in weight on the end of your line. The bobber also offers a long rod extending from the float’s top and bottom. These rods are designed to hold the bobber in place on the water’s surface and keep it upright so that it won’t wobble off to one side or the other. This design is so important because it makes it possible for the bobber to slip under the surface and come back up while still pointing upright, indicating that a fish is pulling on your hook. 

The Eagle Claw Balsa Style bobber is also among the most versatile types of bobbers on the market today as it can be used for virtually any species of fish you want, regardless of how large or small.

What I Don’t Like About it

It’s a bit harder to fasten onto your line as you’ll have to slide the coiled spring down and make sure your line isn’t tangled in the coil. 

One of the only main drawbacks to this type of bobber is that it is quite a bit more expensive than most others you’ll find at bait shops or from online retailers. However, due to the effectiveness and versatility, this is my clear favorite among my choices for the best fishing bobbers. 


  • Very versatile – can be used for any fish species
  • Extremely lightweight balsa wood
  • Special buoyancy design that makes it obvious when a fish strikes


  • More expensive than a basic bobber option
  • Can cause some line tangles

2. ReelSonar Wireless Smart Fishing Bobber

ON SALE $10.04 OFFBestseller No. 1

My next pick among my list of the best bobbers is one that is much more advanced than anything else you’re likely to find in your search for the best fishing bobbers. The ReelSonar Wireless Smart Fishing Bobber is an incredible new technologically developed bobber than anglers can use to greatly increase their chances of catching fish in a specific area. Until now, anglers who didn’t have a boat, canoe, or kayak didn’t have the ability to use a fish finder or depth finder to aid them in their pursuit of whatever type of game fish they are after. Now, all of that has changed. 

This product functions as a fish finder and depth reader and can be used as a normal fishing bobber. The only reason we’ve placed this impressive product in my No. 2 spot is that it’s price is astronomically higher than any other bobber you’ll find on the market today. There are a few other fish finders than can be used on the end of a fishing line, but this is one of the only ones you’ll see that can also be used as an actual bobber. 

What I Like About It

The ReelSonar Wireless Smart Fishing Bobber utilizes sonar technology to produce a detailed reading of the bottom of the particular body of water you’re in that is able to connect with your phone using Bluetooth connectivity. You’ll have more than 10 hours of battery life and the bobber’s battery can be easily recharged using the same style charger as you would for a cell phone. The app for this bobber is compatible with iOS and Android devices and functions quite well in various environments. 

What I Don’t Like About It

One of the only obvious drawbacks is the price, as well as the weight of the bobber itself, which is 1.6 pounds. It does manage to float very effortlessly on the water and will provide you with detailed readings of the bottom and any fish in the area that might help you catch your target more efficiently. 


  • Gives you depth readings directly to your smart phone via bluetooth
  • Helps you to find more fish


  • Not very affordable
  • Very heavy although it does float
  • Difficult to cast long distances

3. LED Light up Night Fishing Bobber

ON SALE $5.00 OFFBestseller No. 1

Until now, anglers weren’t able to use a bobber at night unless they were fishing near a large light or were somehow able to shine a flashlight onto the water to keep their eye on their bobber. This all changed with the release of light up fishing bobbers. One of the best models you’ll find on the market today is the LED Light up Night Fishing Bobber that’s produced by BC Supplies. 

This bobber weighs just 1.7 ounces and is light enough to be cast out with heavier rigs that are often used for catfish or other species. The bobber itself only lights up on the very top in a bubbled section that makes it less likely that the fish below might notice the bobber’s light and be spooked away. You can easily use this bobber in the daytime or night with virtually any kind of rig. 

What I Like About It

This particular fishing bobber is quite a bit larger than most others, so it might be best suited for going after larger-sized fish that won’t be easily disturbed by the size of this float. It has incredible battery life and is advertised as able to last up to 100 hours without needing to replace the batteries.

What I Don’t Like About It

Some users have noted that the battery life is a bit shorter than the 100 hours that are advertised, but this type of light up LED fishing bobber is one of the most unique and effective models you’ll find that is great for night fishing. 


  • LED light is extremely visible even at night
  • Bottom section isn’t lit up to help avoid spooking fish


  • Limited battery life
  • More expensive than a normal bobber – make sure you tie this on properly

4. Eagle Claw Snap-On Floats 

ON SALE $2.06 OFFBestseller No. 1

We understand that sometimes, there’s no need to get fancy when it comes to selecting a fishing bobber to use on the water. Often you’re looking for one of the most simple, easy-to-use types of floats that is also made with a good amount of quality. If you’re searching for one like this, the Eagle Claw Snap-On Floats is an excellent pick. 

What I Like About It

These fishing bobbers are made by Eagle Claw, one of the industry’s longest-lasting fishing brands. Their bobbers are virtually legendary and many of the most skilled anglers in the world got their start using one of these. The best thing about this bobber kit is that you have the option to purchase a number of different size options, as well as colors. These are the clear-cut best choice of fishing bobbers when it comes to new anglers who are just getting started in the sport of fishing. 

The Snap-On is very easy to use and features a brightly-lit color scheme that is easy for anglers to see, even in low-light conditions.

What I Don’t Like About It

These bobbers are only moderately sensitive and might sometimes spook away fish that have very keen eyesight like trout and crappie. However, they are some of the most affordable and easiest to use for beginners, making them an easy addition to my list of the best fishing bobbers. 


  • Very easy to use for beginner anglers
  • Extremely visible bright color scheme
  • Most affordable


  • Can spool fish with keen eyesight

5. Thill TG Bodied Waggler Float

Bestseller No. 1

My last choice among this list of the best fishing bobbers is certainly not the least when it comes to quality and effectiveness. The Thill TG Bodied Waggler Float is easily one that we could rank at or near the top and many anglers might consider it to be their top choice for fishing bobbers today. This model is quite a bit more expensive than others and is a float that is preferred due to their unique aerodynamic shape that allows you to cast them out much further than other, more bulky fishing bobbers. 

The waggler style fishing bobber is made to be used at very long ranges and features a very brightly colored top that is easy for you to see when it’s moving back and forth, or if you’re getting a bite and it is slipping beneath the water’s surface. This particular design doesn’t offer much in the way of wind resistance, so if you’re fishing an area where you have to cast out to a considerable distance, this type of bobber is likely to be your best choice. 

What I Like About It

You can use these bobbers for virtually any size or type of fish as they are not as noticeable as other, larger style designs. This is also one that’s very popular among trout anglers who fish with bobbers in rivers as the long, brightly-colored tip is easily seen above the churning waters of any stream or river.

What I Don’t Like About It

They are a bit harder to tie onto your line and might take some getting used to if you’re more accustomed to using the more simplistic style of fishing bobbers. 


  • Suitable for virtually any size fish
  • Brightly colored tip is visible in churning waters


  • Can be more difficult to tie onto your line
  • Doesn’t offer much wind resistance

Last update on 2022-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Donny Karr

Donny Karr is a Tournament Angler and writer whose work has been featured in magazines for nearly a decade. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He enjoys bass and crappie fishing in the lakes around the south-eastern United States, as well as trout fishing in the streams and rivers of the Appalachian mountains. He enjoys keeping up with the latest news and gear items in the fishing industry and is always looking forward to his next outdoor adventure. Donny has written for Georgia Outdoor News, The Outdoor Trip, Man Can Outdoors, Global Fishing Reports, and Bassmaster.